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In search of an orthopedic shoulder specialist

4617 Views 17 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Mt. Tam Haze
Long story short, I dislocated my shoulder and sustained a pretty large Hill-Sachs lesion which is basically a compression fracture of the humeral head and can cause instability. I went to my friends dad who is an orthopedic surgeon, but he doesn't seem to have a lot of experience with the type of procedure he recommended I get.

I've been to Dr Akizuki before and I'm considering setting an appointment with him. Anyone have any experience for shoulder injuries/surgeries with Dr A? I most likely need to get a remplissage procedure if anyone has had that.
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Muir Orthopedic Surgery Center in Walnut Creek. Call them. My ortho guy, Dr. Toma, is very good, but I know they have a shoulder/arm specialist.
If you're in the East bay, Dr. Eppley did a great job on my shoulder. In fact he's repaired my left shoulder twice; the first time was a simple Bancart to fix a torn labrum, and the second time it required a Bancart and some remplissage to fix the Hills-Sachs lesion. To give you some perspective, the first surgery I had was back in '93, and the repair lasted a long time considering how badly I thrashed on myself (I bike, surf, rock climb, snowboard). I ended up damaging it again about 10 years later while bouldering, and had my second surgery in 2008 or there abouts. I've had no problems since the last surgery, and I'm back to my same sporting ways. Eppley's web site is http://www.eppleymd.com/.
If you are in the Bay Area, I used Dr. George Thabit III at SOAR in Redwood City. He only does shoulders/knees and maybe elbows. He does most of the work on the professional volleyball players, as well as baseball, etc. He does his surgery at two locations, Palo Alto and Burlingame. I personally know several people that have gone to him with great success.

Unfortunately, the surgeon is only half of the battle. I visited 4-6 rehab centers prior to selecting Personal Edge Physical Therapy in Dublin. They did an outstanding job with my rehab. Invest the time to visit at least three therapy centers so you get a good feeling for them.
KentM said:
If you are in the Bay Area, I used Dr. George Thabit III at SOAR in Redwood City. He only does shoulders/knees and maybe elbows. He does most of the work on the professional volleyball players, as well as baseball, etc. He does his surgery at two locations, Palo Alto and Burlingame. I personally know several people that have gone to him with great success.

Unfortunately, the surgeon is only half of the battle. I visited 4-6 rehab centers prior to selecting Personal Edge Physical Therapy in Dublin. They did an outstanding job with my rehab. Invest the time to visit at least three therapy centers so you get a good feeling for them.
+1 for Thabit. He just prepaired my labrum and I'm very happy with the result. My PT guy says he's the only surgeon in the Bay Area that he'd use if he were having shoulder surgery and some of his staff was also operated on by him.
I highly recommend Kirk Jenson is Orinda/Oakland. He is SHOULDER ONLY second generation surgeon. Saved me twice. He is hands down one of the top guys in the bay area and do yourself a favor and go see him.

I also had a Hill-Sachs lesion with a bankart lesion from a posterior dislocation that locked on my scapula. ouch.

Another repair was my demolished collar bone who 2 other doctors would not touch. Jenson used a rod that he developed specifically for collar bones and im totally repaired as it never happened.

Great guy, ultra busy, no bs.
+ 1 on Eppley and even more on your seeking out a good surgeon. I'm a claims adjuster with a vested interest in seeing people make a full recovery. I always tell people to get a recommendation. Being a surgeon is just like any job, some people do it even though they aren't very good at it.
Thanks for all the recommendations. I used to be a claims adjustor, so I know how important it is to find a good ortho to work on an injury. I ended up setting an appointment after a friend recommended Dr Mark Lawler who has worked with the Sharks and the Raiders. I'm hoping my I can get the surgery ASAP and be back on the bike before summer.

The worst part about all of this is that I have a new (used but new to me!) Banshee Scythe sitting in my garage that I haven't even ridden yet. :/
Well that bike will serve as motivation to your rehab, stick to it and commit 110%, shoulder takes time. Best of Luck!
Motivation that's semi-torturous- especially looking at this pic!

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Ouch - sorry to hear. Sounds like you're all set - but in case a couple more comments are useful:

I haven't been to Dr. A, but + 1 (or more!) for Eppley - he did an amazing job diagnosing & repairing problems with my knee after a complicated fracture a year earlier. He has focused on shoulders and knees for 20 years, and works with Cal's sports teams. His anesthesiologist was great too. He works in Berkeley and Orinda/Walnut Creek.

Muir Ortho (MOS): mixed. My original doctor was at MOS & wasn't able to diagnose two problems that Eppley saw right away - wish I'd talked to him much much sooner. Also MOS is a big, busy place - makes it hard to leave messages, etc. and (my fracture was a work injury) their workers' comp processes added substantial delays. That said, I've heard very good things about Toma and Coufal.
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grace said:
Ouch - sorry to hear. Sounds like you're all set - but in case a couple more comments are useful:

I haven't been to Dr. A, but + 1 (or more!) for Eppley - he did an amazing job diagnosing & repairing problems with my knee after a complicated fracture a year earlier. He has focused on shoulders and knees for 20 years, and works with Cal's sports teams. His anesthesiologist was great too. He works in Berkeley and Orinda/Walnut Creek.
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There is another Doctor in that office that did my shoulder surgery and I would recommend. Dr. Zwahlen.

http://www.eppleymd.com/id5.html

Wasn't a whole lot of diagnosis needed since the end of my collarbone was about 2 inches from where it was supposed to be, but of the 3 doctors I talked to about it he was the most up to date on current surgery procedures.

- Booker C. Bense
Warren King and Colin Eakin at PAMF. Thumbs up from both personal experience of me and my wife, and from checking around that I have done.
Haus Boss said:
Motivation that's semi-torturous- especially looking at this pic!
Im feelin ya but your gonna have to trade that thing for some rubber bands and a stick for a while...
Hopefully it's a short and sweet recovery. If my original ortho is correct (gotta see what the new doc says in a week), I only need a remplissage procedure which supposed to be a 6 week recovery. From past injuries, I usually seem to heal ahead of the curve. Not bad considering that many dislocated shoulder injuries require a bankart procedure, which is more like a 6 month recovery. I'm crossing my fingers I'll be back hitting the trails by April or May.
Dr. Paul Abeyta in SF was good. I also dislocated my shoulder and his advice was good. I ended up doing nothing but PT and I'm back in good shape now.

I think he also works with some of the 49ers for what it's worth.
Bummer!

Lawler is a good choice, our family has been in there a few times with good results. Come to think of it all 4 of us have seen him.

Sorry to hear about your injury and best wishes for a speedy and full recovery. Sucks to be down and is a real test of patience, especially with the new ride. The Banshee looks sweet and will be waiting when you are ready.
This is the doctor who did my second shoulder surgery, he did a great job and he is also a mountain biker if that matters. Dr Goff. http://www.mttamorthopedics.com/orthopedics/jonathan_r_goff.php.
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